When Trudy Beyak decided to write a book about the so-called gender of God, she knew it would be a controversial subject.
But she didn’t imagine she would end up interviewing 50 scholars, celebrities and leaders of faith who were open to discussing the idea that God has a maternal side.
Those interviews are now the subject of Beyak’s new book, The Mother Heart of God: Unveiling the Mystery of the Father’s Maternal Love.
The book was released last week by Faith Words, which is owned by Hachette Book Group, the second largest publishing company in the world.
Beyak, who was a journalist with the Abbotsford News from 1989 to 2008, took a one-year sabbatical in 2007 to write the book based on an idea she has had since 1993.
In 2007, a Google search of “gender of God” turned up very few results, Beyak said.
By 2011, the search turned up 25 million hits, and now more than 100 million can be found, making the timing better than ever to discuss a subject that, for centuries, has been taboo.
Beyak said new attention on the issue has drawn out texts in the Bible that refer to God’s maternal side. These portions were either missed or deliberately ignored over time, Beyak said.
“Some people would says it’s because leaders in Christian denominations have mostly been men, and they looked at the Scriptures through the eyes of men,” she said.
But Beyak said she does not want the book to read like a “feminist rant.”
“I’m not a feminist. I’m pro women and I’m pro men.”
Beyak said she approached the book in the same way that she conducted research as a journalist – by interviewing the experts.
“I approached it like a big news story,” she said.
Among the people she spoke with were: monks at Westminster Abbey in Mission; Dr. Raymond Damadian, the inventor of the MRI machine; the Vatican and renowned Catholic scholars; Della Reese, co-star of the popular TV show Touched by an Angel; and Jurgen Moltmann, one of the world’s leading Protestant theologians.
Beyak will sign copies of her new book on Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at the House of James (2743 Emerson St.)
For more information, visit themotherheartofgod.com.